IATO Elections: ‘Team For Change’ pledges to amend IATO’s constitution

IATO Elections: ‘Team For Change’ pledges to amend IATO’s constitution

‘Team For Change’ led by Lally Mathews is contesting the Indian Association of Tour Operators’ (IATO’s) elections 2021 on the plank of amending its constitution to make its top leadership broad-based.

From ‘Team For Change’ Lally Mathews, Managing Director of Divine Voyages is running for the post of President of India’s apex body of India’s inbound tour operators. Mathews favours increased participation of regional chapters in IATO’s national affairs. He says that it is essential that regional chapters have better participation in IATO’s national team to make the body more inclusive. Addressing a press conference in the national capital recently, along with other candidates belonging to his ‘Team For Change’, Mathews promises that if elected, they will endeavour to amend IATO’s constitution in the next 6-8 months to ensure that every region is represented in the Executive Committee by a Vice President. This will allow every regional chapter to raise and discuss their issues more effectively.

Addressing media persons on the occasion, ATE Group of Companies’ Chairman E.M. Najeeb said that the membership of the IATO’s Executive Committee should be increased, which, as he says, is currently limited in the vested interest. According to him, the total membership of the Executive Committee of a large organization like IATO should be at least 5-8 % of the organisation’s total membership. “This will bring more representation, participation and transparency in the working of the IATO. We can’t allow IATO to be run as a pocket organization,” said Najeeb, who is currently the senior vice president of the association and contesting for the same post.

Currently, the total membership of IATO is 1700 from all over India, of which 351 are designated as active members.

Speaking on the occasion, Lajpat Rai, Managing Director, Lotus Trans Travels, who is the Team of Change’s candidate for the post of Vice President, said that the government should support the tourism industry with measures such as incentives to educational institutes for conducting educational tours. “There are about 1.5 million educational institutes in India. Tourism will grow if even 10% of these institutes conduct educational tours. We have to focus on domestic tourism untill  the inbound tourism is back on track,” added Rai.

The manifesto of ‘Team for Change’ has promised that if their group is elected, they will waive annual membership fees for 2020-2021 and may extend the waiver further if the inbound business remains sluggish. The pro-change team has promised to ensure women representation in the executive committee. Moreover, they will also work through the Ministry of Tourism to seek soft loan facility at low-interest rates for the IATO’s members.

The other candidates of the Team For Change are Rajesh Mudgill, Managing Director of Planet India Travels, for the post of Honorary Secretary, Sunil Mishra of Cosmos Tours & Travels, for the post of Honorary Treasurer and Sanjay Razdan of Razdan Holidays, for the post of Honorary Joint Secretary.

The Team of Change’s candidates for the active members of the EC is Arun Anand of Midtown Travels, Harish Mathur of Concord Travels & Tours, Ravinder Kumar of Indian Legends Holidays, Tony Marwah of Indian Travel Promotion Company and Vishal Yadav of Incredible Destination Management Service. P. Vijayasarathy of Benchmark Hotels and A. Aarif of Parveen Travels are the Team of Change’s candidates for allied EC members.

IATO will hold its biennial elections on March 6 to elect its new national team for the term 2021-2023.

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